I visited Cebu during the last weekend of the Sinulog Festivities from January 15 to 17. But before that highly anticipated day came, I was already planning where to stay and of course where to dine.
I already was scheduled to stay at the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino with a special breakfast and lunch for a day packaged with my stay. However, I would be staying in Cebu for three days. Normally, the hotel will only provide a complimentary breakfast, so lunch and dinner requirements will be my task for the three days I will be staying in Cebu.
What was my strategy for Sinulog weekend? I inquired from Cebu-based restaurants if they will be interested in sponsoring a meal at their restaurant in exchange for a feature article in my blog. I told them it would be great if I can visit their restaurant while I'm there so I can share the dining experience.
I don't think a lot of bloggers would want to go all the way to another province just for a special treat in a restaurant. But my adventure was far more than ordinary. I wanted to make my Cebu trip a very memorable one.
Thanks to the very friendly Alyzza, and Australian Chef Steve Shrimski and his Filipina wife Eya, of Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery, I had the great opportunity to taste some of their culinary specialties.
I was fortunate enough to interview Chef Steve Shrimski himself, and also met his Filipina wife. You can find my interview at our YouTube channel: http://www.YouTube.com/wazzuppilipinas or at https://youtu.be/KFmi6keds7g
Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery is a smart casual restaurant and bar to hang out - sleek, modern industrial look but comfortable featuring Modern Austrailian Cuisine. ou can find them at #1 Paseo Saturnino Banilad, Cebu city right across The Henry Hotel.
The many artworks hanged on their walls changes after some time so they can feature different artists at a time. The display during that time was the works of Lino Venzal, a painter with amputated arms from the Argao town, He has been doing lovely portraits for 10 years already as a house artist at Kukuk's nest inspite of his handicap.
Armed with his Fine Arts studies from The Up Cebu College under Raymund Fernandez, he is driven with passion to make art against all odds. This 38 year old husband and father of two lost his arms when he met an accident at a rice mill when he was only 12 years young. He now consider the accident a blessing because he probably wouldn't learn how to paint if he was with able limbs.
A neighbor inspired him to paint which he continued learning mostly painting people and sceneries as a means to support his family. He ties the paintbrush or pastel stick to his right elbow with a rubber band and normally takes him a week to finish one painting.
Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery of course also boasts of their fine dishes that would satisfy everyone's craving for Australian-themed specialties. But their dishes are seemingly a fusion of many continents since you'll see hints of everything from their menu.
I was served with Freshly baked Tortilla Chips with Quezo Con Carne, Pickled Jalapeno and Chunky Tomato Salsa. For only 185, their serving was already humongous for me. It would be already filling enough as an entire meal for me, though the dish is highly recommended for sharing. It would be nice to have it during talks among friends and colleagues. The ingredients all have their distinctive taste that it was a sensational dining experience.
I encouraged Alyzza to join me for lunch so we will be able to finish the meals. However, even the two of us were not a match against the hefty starter dish.
By the way, a tall glass of citrus drink was already by my side offering a mixture of orange and calamansi. I can even see the pulp and the actual parts of the orange and calamansi in the glass offering a really refreshing drink that can quench your thirst easily.
Next dish they served was the Pork Medallions in Grain Mustard Sauce with Tiger Prawn and and Pesto Fettuccine. This was priced very affordable at only P425. What I wanted was more of the tiger prawns, but I guess I wanted more like a Gambas dish if it will be a majority of prawns. The Pork Medallion was tender and tasty that the additional subtle taste of the fettuccine brought out a combo of flavors.
Lastly before dessert was the Tangigue Simmered in Coconut Vinegar, Soy, Citrus and Ginger on Asian Vegetable Rice. This dish was favorably priced at P395 making it easier in the pocket. The two dishes were already overwhelming for us. Even with the two of us sharing the meals, I just couldn't get myself to finish the two main entrees. There's also the thought of still having the dessert which was too good to miss out.
The Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce priced at P125 was a heavenly treat. I was already full but I wanted more of it. I was just to shy to request for another plate. Don't just take my word for it, you deserve to try it on your own. You will surely thank me afterwards.
Thank you most specially to the power couple composed of Chef Steve Shrimski and wife Eya Shrimski, and also to Alyzza, for allowing me the privilege to be one of their guests during Sinulog weekend in Cebu.
Find out more about Cnvas Bistro Bar Gallery from their official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CanvasBistroBarGallery/